Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 75 (3):431-454 (2013)

Willem Lemmens
University of Antwerp
Hume’s short and unlucky relation with Rousseau is a famous episode in the biography of these two towering figures of the Enlightenment. Undoubtedly, Hume’s fierce reaction towards the betrayal of Rousseau mirrors his high esteem of friendship as such. Though Hume never elaborated a systematic account of friendship, his writings contain numerous references to the pivotal role of this ”calm passion’ and ”virtue’ as a source of personal happiness and social harmony. This article reconstructs the encounter and quarrel with Rousseau in order to better understand Hume’s views on the value and fragility of friendship. Hume appears to defend a rather classical account of friendship that is deeply influenced by Aristotle and Cicero, but at the same time bears witness to the particularity of 18th century Enlightenment culture.
Keywords Hume   Rousseau   friendship   jealousy   honour   community   Enlightenment
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DOI 10.2143/TVF.75.3.2990792
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